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Summer Science Program

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, General Science, Higher Education, Physical & Earth Sciences, Technology

Mission: SSP’s mission is to inspire exceptionally talented and motivated high school students to accelerate their intellectual and social development. Our college-level, residential program immerses students in a challenging science curriculum with team-based, hands-on research to solve a central scientific problem. Since 1959, we have created a cultural environment of excellence, collaboration, and creativity, and we push our students beyond anything they have previously experienced. We measure our performance by the number of alumni who look back at SSP as a formative experience and support the program for future generations.

Results: Life-changing!

Target demographics: High school juniors, gifted & talented in math & science.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 96

Geographic areas served: worldwide

Programs: Three campuses: SSP in Astrophysics at Univ. of Colorado Boulder and New Mexico Tech in Socorro. SSP in Biochemistry at Purdue Univ.

Community Stories

141 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Sush K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't have words to express what exactly SSP is. I attended the program this summer. Before the program I didn't know what to expect and after the program, I can say that SSP will exceed anyone's expectations. It's not only about the challenging course and asteroid tracking. In fact, with all the amazing you meet there, the course doesn't seem as challenging at all. You learn to live with and love people and science. :) You have to be there to know!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My five and a half weeks at the Summer Science Program are the best five and a half weeks of my life. The learning environment was phenomenal, the people were truly wonderful, and the experience was out of this world. This program has easily had the most influence on my life. Meeting so many other bright high school students who shared the same interest I do was exciting. It was definitely a life-changing experience.

2 Douglas D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the best and most important non-profit I've encountered in my life. I went there as a student and it changed my life! I opened up career and personal opportunities I never had dreamed of. I recommend it 100% to ANY student contemplating a career in science, no matter how good or bad your high school is.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Attended the program in 2005. Unbelievable summer program for bright high school students! Really enjoyed looking at the night sky to track an asteroid and learning about all the math, computer science, and astrophysics to derive its orbit. Not only is it intellectually challenging, but also camaraderie among students is incredible, and I still keep in touch with friends I've made there.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended SSP in the summer of 2003. The experience was phenomenal! We learned a great deal about astrophotography, computer programming, and data analysis - the latter two have continued to serve me nearly a decade later. My only regret is that I could not attend the program for multiple years!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SSP was an amazing experience. I was a student in the summer of 2012, and learned more about math and physics on those six weeks than in three years of high school. My fellow SSP'ers were all engaging and highly intelligent young men and women, with diverse interests but a common passion for science that made us all bond and become fast friends. The professors were clearly knowledgable in their fields and were a lot of fun to learn from. Overall an absolutely life-changing summer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SSP was a crucial experience for me, providing an experience to learn challenging material and apply what I had learned to a real scientific project (the determination of the orbit of an asteroid). SSP provided me with a view of how science is done, setting me on the path I have followed in the almost 35 years since. My SSP classmates were as interested in science and mathematics as I was and provided an instant group of friends in the challenging environment of college. All my SSP classmates are accomplished professionals, and many continue to be personal friends. If staying up late learning calculus, physics, and astronomy is your idea of fun, you can't find a better summer program.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended SSP as a student 30 years ago, served as a teaching assistant for a couple summers, and have been a board member for the past 7 years. This is a truly exceptional program that changed my life. The chance to immerse myself for an extended period in challenging science and a true peer community of fellow students convinced me to pursue a lifelong career in physics (I'm now a physics professor and researcher). The mix of theoretical and team-based practical work was fantastic -- and knowing that the orbital elements we calculated for our asteroids would be added into an international database made it all more "real". Guest lectures from renowned scientists in diverse fields and visits to outstanding science facilities only enhanced the sense of possibilities and excitement a scientific career would hold. I'm proud to be an SSP alum and glad to keep supporting SSP as a volunteer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Summer Science Program is an amazing summer camp!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to SSP Socorro 2012, and it was definitely the most amazing experience of my life! I felt constantly challenged in everything we did there, from physics to astronomy to swing dancing. The alumni handling admissions made sure I was with the most eclectic group of people possible. We were all so alike, and yet so different! Everyone at SSP makes that summer the best one of your life. SSP is a life-changing experience, and I would suggest that anyone interested in Physics and Astronomy apply.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Although many others regard SSP as a highly-selective summer program for future scientists, for all 72 of us it is definitely more than just a summer program. It is a chance which is “once-in-a-lifetime”, for us to approach the true spirit of science and the underlying aptitudes of real scientists, to acknowledge such fascinating people of the same age, to come together, to learn, to feel, to grow. For me, the SSP experience is one that deserves forever remembrance, one that further exceeds my expectations, one that profoundly changed my life and one that has become, and will always be, an inseparable part of myself.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student at the Summer Science Program this past year, and it was nothing short of incredible - the combination of lectures, programming, and observational astronomy created the most cohesive and useful educational program I have ever gone through. The material we studied was of a very high level, but was wonderfully presented by our professors, and I came away with some real learning. The Summer Science Program definitely inspired me to go for a career in the sciences, and was an amazing use of six weeks of my summer. The diversity of students created a really educational, open, and friendly community of learners and I would not have done anything else with my summer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2012, I participated as a student in SSP's summer program (New Mexico Tech). The entire experience blew me away. As students, we attended lectures on physics, calculus, astronomy, and programming; completed extremely challenging homework sets; and observed and calculated the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid. SSP changed my life. I left with new lifelong friends and a newfound confidence in my abilities. The program pushed me past anything I thought I could do, and it gave us students the perfect balance of instruction, work, and freedom. I learned how to handle little to no sleep, what to do when faced with an entirely new topic (spherical trigonometry? What is that?), how to work with others, how to approach a problem numerous ways, and so much more. The professors, TAs, dorms, food, field trips, and guest speakers were amazing, and now I have access to an entire network of SSP alumni across the globe. I recommend this program 100%!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Summer Science Program has provided one of the greatest experiences of my life. I loved every minute of it, from the varied lectures on topics covering maths and physics to the conducting of research using telescopes. I learnt a phenomenal amount about astronomy and astrophysics, and also made great friends with different people. It is truly unparalleled, and I cannot commend it highly enough. I am deeply grateful to the programme, especially as they provided financial aid to help me, without which I could have never afforded to attend. It is an incredible programme, one which I am deeply indebted to for so many reasons.

Bernardo2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Summer Science Program was a great experience. The staff was amaznig and very helpful and the other memebers of the porgram were incredible as well.

Lucian W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SSP is a fantastic summer opportunity for high school students to get some experience in being part of a real scientific project from start to finish. Students acquire a full package of skills and learn to discover how to use them alongside peers, with only limited guidance from an instructor - and at the same time, get to make friends that will last them many years into the future!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Summer Science Program is a fantastic nonprofit organization for advanced high school students in math and science. Both the academic and social aspects are phenomenal; students receive the opportunity to work together with other outstanding young scientists from around the world to harness and master complex topics in mathematics, physics, programming and astrophysics. Additionally, these students are granted the extraordinary opportunity to utilize the facilities of the Etscorn Observatory to track and later calculate the orbit of an asteroid as it travels around the sun.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended SSP four years ago and have had some phenomenal experiences since - inventing shoes at the Innovation Lab at NIKE, studying product design in Sweden, leading a 30-person research team in India - but the 5 weeks at SSP remain the best of my life. SSP was my first exposure to a truly intellectually-curious community and to the beauty of teamwork. It changed my life and for that I will be forever thankful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SSP is an extraordinary summer experience for young and enthusiastic students below 18, to experience the fields of astronomy, advanced mathematics and programming in an intense five week period. From swing dances to enlightening guest lectures about Titan's monsoon rains and effects of atrazine on frogs, SSP has definitely changed my perception of a career in sciences and helped me to decide what to do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SSP pushed me to my full potential spiritually, physically, and mentally. Not only were the lectures enlightening and the projects challenging, but the precious camaraderie among the TAs, students, and faculty members was priceless.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My five weeks at SSP 2011 were by far the best five weeks of my life. Everyone I interacted with was absolutely incredible, from the students to the TAs to the professors. The program itself was definitely challenging, but the highly intellectual and collaborative environment that SSP created made me actually WANT to do crazy things like stay up until 3 am to debug a Python program. Best of all, even after coming home, I feel truly and deeply connected to the 35 students I shared this experience with. I would recommend SSP to any science-oriented student in a heartbeat.